It was another great year for African music, with artists dropping tunes that made the whole continent dance.

Here are the ten biggest songs that topped the charts throughout the continent.

Babes Wodumo – Wololo

“Wololo” was one of the biggest songs of 2016 in South Africa, topping the charts across most radio stations in the country. The song is praised for putting South Africa’s popular sub-genre, gqom, on the map, and it catapulted 23-year-old Babes Wodumo (real name Bongekile Simelane) to fame across South Africa and the continent.  The video for the song has since amassed over 4 million views on YouTube.

Kwesta featuring Cassper Nyovest – Ngud’

South African hip hop artist, Kwesta, had a good run with his hit single “Ngud” featuring Cassper Nyovest. The song spent 14 non-consecutive weeks at number one on the iTunes chart, and was the most played song on South African radio in 2016. It was produced by DJ Maphorisa and samples Joakim’s remix of “Camino Del Sol” by Antena. The song is from Kwesta’s 3rd studio album titled “DaKAR II”.

Tekno – Pana

Nigerian muso, Tekno, burned the airwaves with his sexy, African-inspired dance ballad, “Pana”. The video for the song has since amassed over 50 million views on YouTube, and popular the South African dj, Black Coffee, danced to the song as part of his first dance with his wife, Mbali Mlotshwa, during their wedding ceremony at Sun City Resort in South Africa.

Sauti Sol featuring Alikiba – Unconditionally Bae

“Unconditionally Bae” was one of East Africa’s biggest songs as it featured two of the region’s biggest stars; boy band, Sauti Sol, and Tanzania’s Alikiba. The song is a danceable love ballad and was nominated for Song of the Year at the 2016 MTV Africa Music Awards. It has since amassed more than 4 million views on YouTube.

Patoranking featuring Wande Coal – My Woman, My Everything

“My Woman, My Everything” by Nigeria’s Patoranking featuring Wande Coal was the biggest song on the continent in 2015 and 2016, earning Song of the Year at the 2016 MTV Africa Music Awards. The song was also popular with Caribbean audiences who love it for its catchy lyrics and infectious dance hall beat.

AKA featuring Burna Boy, Khuli Chana & Yanga – Baddest

South African hip hop artists collaborated with some of the continent’s biggest stars to create the song “Baddest” which was released in 2015, but continued to dominate the airwaves in 2016. This is mainly attributed to the remix version being released where AKA featured some of South Africa’s biggest female hip hop artists, including: Moozlie, Rouge, Fifi Cooper and Gigi Lamayne.  

DJ Maphorsia featuring WizKid & DJ Buckz – Soweto Baby

One of South Africa’s top dance music producers, DJ Maphorisa, collaborated with heavyweights, Wizkid and DJ Buckz, to create one of the biggest songs on the continent, “Soweto Baby”. The song won Best Collaboration at the 2016 MTV Africa Music Awards and the video was filmed in the iconic township of Soweto in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Nasty c ft. Davido & Cassper Nyovest – Juice Back Remix

“Juice Back” by South African hip hop artist, Nasty C, was the song that catapulted the 18-year-old rapper into fame back in 2015. The song continued to create a stir across the continent through his collaboration on a remix with Cassper Nyovest and Davido. The song was produced by hit maker, Gemini Major, and it has since amassed over 1.3 million views on YouTube.

EmTee featuring WizKid and AKA – Roll Up Re-Up

EmTee burst into the music scene in South Africa with the smash hit, “Roll Up,” in 2015 and the hype around the song continued well into 2016 with a remix of the song featuring WizKid and AKA. “Roll Up” earned the award of Song of the Year in 2015 at the South African Hip Hop Awards and was nominated for Song of the Year at the 2016 MTV Africa Music Awards. EmTee walked away with the Best Hip Hop award at the ceremony.

Diamond Platnumz featuring Rayvanny – Salome

Diamond Platnumz’s hit single “Salome” was one of the biggest songs in Tanzania and East Africa. The song is a remake of Saida Karoli’s hit single from the 90s titled “Maria Salome”, and is sung entirely in Swahili. The song has since amassed over 12.9 million views on YouTube.

Lebo Matshego
South African journalist based in Johannesburg. A Wits University graduate, Lebo enjoys writing lifestyle and entertainment stories.